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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

I come now with a new problem. I pretended for some time I did not care, but that is now making me pull the hair from my head.

I installed something (which I did not pay attention to at that time and I don't remember what it was) and too many other programs after that (programs I constantly use, and therefore I don't want to get rid of). If I roll back my computer to an earlier time to dismiss this problem, I would be uninstalling all those valuable programs I am talking about.

Since the first installation, when I select in excel (using the mouse), when I am typing in Word, Internet or whatever other program, things stop working. There is a delay in response. I type, but I don't see what is just typed on the screen, because the computer freezes undexpectedly, and then it comes with the whole thing at once. In the meantime, I could have made a mistake in typing, but because I couldn't see it right away on the screen, I cannot be sure if I made it, and have to wait until the computer 'defreezes' back and keeps working along.
The delay doesn't last too long, but it's frequent and recurrent. So it's always there. It is a pain in the neck, and I am being very decent to say it.

It is not the Ram, because I have plenty of it. It is not the speed of the chip, because my computer is not old. It is not a wrong installation of the programs I installed because everything works fine at the end. It is just that freaking delay that retards my work what bothers me.

What can I do? Start from where? Do I need any software to test for the internal condition of my computer?

I really hope I can get some help folks. Thanks in advance.
 

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h:
d is correct. It could be a lot of things.

Booting to safe mode won't take long. If it happens in safe mode, it can ONLY be:
hardware [ excluding drivers ]
Windows corruption
Registry corruption
Malware

I disagree, h, with your statement "It is not the Ram, because I have plenty of it.".
Even the best auto tires wear out.

http://www.memtest86.com/
On the left, left click on "free download"
Under Memtest 3.4a
If you have a floppy disk drive [ FDD ] on your computer, download "Pre Compiled . . . DOS & Windows"

If you don't have a FDD, download "Download . . . iso image [ zip ]

Unzip the file.

Then, using CD burning software. This is NOT the same as copying the .ISO file to the CD.

RF123
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I did the safe-boot troubleshooting procedure and confirmed that the computer works fine in Safe Mode.
I will perform a memory test and will tell you what I got as soon as I can.

You know I am always thankful to you guys.

PS: is there a way to test all the drivers installed in my computer? If so, is there a safe site where to download the updates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, I did the memory test... as Dan pointed out, it found no problems whatsoever.

I read on the microsoft post:

If you start the computer in Safe mode or in Safe mode with networking support, and the issue still occurs, an environmental issue may still be the cause. Many function or filter drivers that third-party software installs may continue to load in Safe mode. Therefore, you may have to take an additional step to test and remove third-party drivers in Safe mode.

And a third party driver is what I suspect is causing my problem, because it precisely started out right after installing pieces of software.

Is there a safe way to test for drivers? Is there any safe site where to update them?

Thanks again folks. HB
 

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There is a driver verify tool, which I have never used.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316434
"How to remove unsigned drivers
All the drivers that are included with Windows XP use digital signatures to verify that they have been tested by the Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). Many third-party programs are written for Windows XP must install additional drivers that have not been tested by WHQL. Therefore, they do not receive a digital signature.

Note Some third-party vendors have tools that they can use to generate a valid digital signature even if these products were not tested by WHQL. The following procedure cannot be used to determine whether these drivers are installed.

Windows XP includes the File Signature Verification tool (Sigverif.exe). You can use this tool to find all files on your computer that are not digitally signed. For the purposes of Windows XP clean-boot troubleshooting, you have to test only the files in the %Windir%\System32\Drivers folder.

To use the Sigverif.exe tool, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, click Run, type sigverif in the Open box, and then click OK.
2. Click Advanced, click Look for other files that are not digitally signed, click Browse, locate the Windows\System32\Drivers folder, and then click OK two times.
3. Click Start.
After Sigverif.exe is completed, a list of all unsigned drivers that are installed on your computer appears.

Note Many video drivers are not digitally signed. The following steps may cause problems with your video resolution. These problems may prevent you from starting the computer.

The list of all signed and unsigned drivers that the Sigverif.exe tool finds is in the Sigverif.txt file in the %Windir% folder (typically, the Winnt or Windows folder). All unsigned drivers are noted as "Unsigned."

When you determine which drivers are unsigned, create a folder to move the unsigned drivers to. Typically, SysDriversBak is an easy folder name to remember. Create the folder in the Windows directory so that if the computer is put into a no-boot situation, the drivers can be restored in the Recovery Console.

Move the unsigned drivers, restart the computer (without the unsigned drivers in the Windows\System32\Drivers folder), and then test the program or other functionality to see whether the same error messages or issues still occur.

Note Because most driver files are associated with registry entries that have not yet been changed, you may receive the following error message:
At least one driver or service failed to start...
If the issue no longer occurs, the issue was caused by a third-party unsigned filter or function driver. A function driver is a driver that is used to load a specific device that uses one of the computer buses. A filter driver loads at a level above or below a function driver to add or modify the behavior of the function driver.

To determine which unsigned driver is causing the problem, use one of the following methods:
• Put drivers that are related to the same program or device back into the Windows\System32\Drivers folder together in the same test.
• Put the top half of the drivers back into the Windows\System32\Drivers folder in the same test.
The first technique is generally better at determining the cause of an issue, but you may not be able to determine which drivers are related. After you determine which driver is causing the issue, you can either remove the driver or program, disable the driver, or turn off service."

I suggest that you do the following.
Return to the system config utility.
"Services" tab.
"hide all microsoft services"
"Disable all services" [ this leaves the Microsoft services running / untouched ].
"startup" tab
Disable all
ok
reboot
Test

If the problem occurs, it is being caused by a driver, or a Microsoft Service. You can run the computer in diagnostic mode, which dramatically reduces the # of services, but you lose all of your system restore points.

RF123
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, I will do that as soon as I have a chance. I think I will start by your last advice, disabling everything that is not Microsoft... I have to say that I had to spend five days not long ago restoring my computer due to problems with services that I disabled, as I was following the advice of some fake guru (I realized that afterall)... I posted that problem somewhere else in these forums.

Thanks again. HB
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi again,
rainforest123: yes, that is the thread I posted when I lost control over the PC...

Going back to my current problem, I have disabled all the services that are not essential for Windows XP to work fine. I did that by selecting groups of services at a time, taking note of what I was disabling, and testing the computer after rebooting each time.

I was not successful in detecting the problem. Whenever I use Word, Excel, or Firefox, things slow down a little bit. I do not have a problem with that if it is just a little bit, but what really annoys me is the intermittent and frequent freezing of the PC.
I cannot work continuously without having to wait every now and then for the computer to 'catch up' after defreezing.

I downloaded DriverDetective and scanned the computer, thinking that some drivers might be out of date, and some were. I did not buy the full version to accomplish the second step (updating the ones out of date), because I wanted to make sure that the program would really give me the updates I needed, and for that wanted to read some reviews first instead of blindly buying it.

I do not have many things running at the same time. Actually, the only thing I have always on is the Kaspersky internet security. I really do not know how to bring my computer to work as it should again.
 

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"is there a way to test all the drivers installed in my computer? If so, is there a safe site where to download the updates?"
The manufacturers' web sites.

Belarc Advisor is a free tool. Personally, I don't use it because I try to limit the # of 3rd party applications on my computer. Windows Update occasionally provides information about updated drivers.
Device Manager
Open an item, such as your graphics / display adapter.
Properties.
Drivers tab.
Update driver button
Search
Microsoft Windows update

How much ram is in your computer?

Do this:
Use your computer for a few hours to a day; whatever is "normal" for you.
Open "task manager".
"performance" tab
Please list all entries for "physical memory" and "kernel memory".
Send a screen shot, if you prefer.

Close task manager.
Note that which is selected [ or unselected ] in the sys config utility.
Set it to "normal startup".
Reboot.
Use your computer.
Return to task manager.
Provide the same information as above.

RF123
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, these are the results:

Before setting msconfig to NOrmal Boot:
Physical mem (K)
Total: 2087288
Available: 1535636
System cache: 1245384

Kernel Mem (K):
Total: 82204
Paged: 61028
Nonpaged: 21200
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
rainforest123: First of all, let me thank you for being there attending others' problems (and I know I am not the only one being helped). I deeply appreciate your help.

I bought this computer with 2 GB in RAM. I thought it was going to surpass my previous one and overcome my necessities... but that was just an illusion sold to me along with nice online pictures and descriptions.

The numbers I showed you for the amount of memory before and after enabling the 'normal boot', were recorded without using any other program at the time. I closed everything and did only that.
I noted, however, that enabling 'normal boot' made the computer even slower for everything, particularly the startup.

To be honest with you, I am having lots of problems with my computer right now. The first problem I posted in this thread was truly the only one I was experiencing at the moment. But now, after all these days, I could list an increasing number of problems. For example:

- If the only program running is Firefox, it works fine, but as soon as I open Word, typing in firefox becomes extremely slow. I type a whole sentence and can see the letters appearing one by one, second after second. If in that moment I close Word, everything goes normal again, and typing or searching is not a problem anymore. So I now use IE for my tasks in combination with Word... I like more Firefox though.

- Turning on the computer is a coin in the air. Sometimes it would load everything fast and normal, especially if it is only a Restart operation, and sometimes it would take hours. Some other times it just freezes without being hooked to the ethernet line or anything.
In this regard I have noticed that after being off overnight, turning it on the next day takes more than 4 min. For some it might sound like a short time, but waiting that long just for the computer to show the desktop is, in my opinion, and indication that something is wrong.

Some 6 months ago I used to have McAffee enterprise as the AV and the free Lavasoft Ad-aware to scan the computer every once in a while. Because the AV was consuming so much resources, I switched to Kaspersky after a 30-day trial. Before that, I tried 3 other internet suites (including BitDefender), but the fastest, easy to use, and reliable for me was Kaspersky. So I have it on all the time now. I do not think the problem is there.

I am almost sure that I should take my computer to an expert so it can be configurated properly. I do not know if starting to uninstall program after program and cleaning the registry right after that would be a solution.

What do you think?

HB
 

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h:
Thanks for the kind words.

I apologize for the brevity of this reply.

Reboot your computer.

Open Task Manager.
Processes.
Click on "mem usage" once or twice, until the program with greatest amount is at the top.
Open firefox.
Watch TM.
Note the amount of mem usage.
Do not use the computer for 5 minutes.
Now, look at the mem usage for FF.
It has probably changed.
I use FF. I like FF.
FF's mem usage often increases, without use.
Now, open Word; WinWord.exe in TM.

Test your computer's ram, for 8 hours.
www.memtest86.com
"free downloads" on left
If your computer does not have a floppy disk drive, download the .ISO file.
Creating a bootable CD will not be accomplished by copying the .ISO to a CD. You need 3rd party CD burning software.

Be sure to read the readme.txt of MemTest86.

RF123
 
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